DUCATI 1299 PANIGALE (2015 - 2017) Review
- Stunning V-twin sportsbike replaced 1199
- 10% more power and torque
- User-friendly electronic aids
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£370|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Ducati Panigale 1299 was the last of the Italian firm’s flagship V-twin superbikes before the switch to a V4 engine in 2018.
The previous model, the 1199 Panigale, was an excellent bike but it wasn’t for the fainthearted. It was all or nothing at times, difficult to ride fast, physically hard work, and intimidating – especially for less experienced riders.
Despite a capacity increase to 1285cc meaning increased power and torque, a bunch of clever electronics, and geometry tweaks meant the 1299 is actually much easier to ride when you want it to be.
Piloting the Ducati out of town it feels far roomier than the old 1199 version, and there’s more lowdown oomph, too, thanks to the big V-twin’s capacity hike. But as roomy as it is, it’s still a caged animal at town and motorway speeds, and all it wants to do is go fast and attack corners.
The clutch is heavy and the engine clatters at low speed, so you have to slip the clutch a lot, and even with its softer seat the 1299 is uncomfortable after a while. It kicks out some heat, too, which might be a blessing on a cold UK morning, but it toasts your undercarriage in warm weather.
In the 1299 Panigale, Ducati produced the best road-going, twin cylinder superbike yet. It has monster power and torque, but it’s also more user-friendly thanks to extremely clever electronic suspension and rider aids.
The 1299 Panigale was available in standard trim or an S version with electronic Öhlins suspension. It was replaced in 2017 by the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition and Ducati also made a Superleggera version – meaning superlight.
During 2015 MCN lived with a Ducati 1299 Panigale S on the long-term test fleet for a year, covering thousands of road miles and plenty on track too. We found it a sensational companion.
Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario
In 2016 the Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario was launched to celebrate the firm's 90th year.
It sat between the Panigale S and R in terms of spec, while being spiritually closer to the ultra-expensive Superleggera that was launched in 2014. Ducati said it would also use a new version of the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) dubbed DTC EVO, which will allow riders to drift the bike on the power and use the throttle to steer the bike; all in total control as the electronic control systems will prevent the bike crashing.
The Anni is a strictly limited edition model, with just 500 built globally – guaranteeing instant collector status, and a massive rush to buy this bike. Each bike has an etched numbered top yoke to signify which number of the 500 it is.
Most striking to look at is the new racing-inspired black, white and red paintjob which owes a lot to the factory racing bikes in both WSB and MotoGP, and clearly sets the bike apart from the rest of the range. The gold-painted wheels are a traditional touch for Ducati limited edition bikes through the years, and there’s a gold hue to the special Akrapovic exhausts, too.
A new steering head insert shifts the front wheel forwards by 5mm, exactly matching the chassis geometry of the range-topping Panigale R, while a special lightweight lithium battery, carbon-fibre heelguards, hugger, and a different rear shock unit all contribute to the Anni shedding 2.5kg over the S model.
Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, you may want to join an online community to meet likeminded people. We'd suggest Ducati Forum is a great place to start.
Watch Ducati 1299 Panigale video review
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The electronic Öhlins suspension is really clever. In Race mode, compression and rebound damping is increased both front and rear, so too is the damping inside the electronic steering damper. In Race mode the 1299 feels like it's on rails; mid-corner, the chassis support and grip is immense. The 1299 gives so much confidence that despite the huge increase in power, it's much easier to ride than the old model.
The subtle ABS, combined with the clutchless, quickshifter gearchange, means all your concentration goes into your braking points and line selection. The brakes are super-strong, and in Sport mode you have the additional cornering ABS which reduces the risk of a low-side and makes braking virtually foolproof.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The power delivery is more linear and there's a 10% hike in both power and torque. The increase in torque comes lower in the revs and is more useable, so whereas before you almost had to wait for the power to kick in like a two-stroke, now it’s much more progressive. In Race mode the power is more aggressive, but it’s still a long way short of the violent smack-in-the-face the old bike was.
The 1299 Panigale was the last V-twin superbike, not only for Ducati but for the class - the competition had all swapped to either V4 or inline-four engine layouts.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Our Ducati 1299 Panigale owners' reviews show a mixed bag. There have been some reliability issues over the years, and high servicing costs seem to be a feature of Ducati ownership. Specific reports of oil making its way onto the rear wheel and a battery that keeps going flat might be isolated incidents, but if you're worried we'd suggest you do some research on owner forums before taking the plunge.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
In 2015, we took the best superbikes on the market at the time to Spain for a mega test on both the road and track. After two days lapping Jerez and then a long ride around the twisting roads, towns and motorways of Spain, the Ducati Panigale 1299 finished up in third position behind the Yamaha R1 and BMW S1000RR.
Despite the Ducati's improved road manners and blistering track performance, it’s not as smooth and easy to get along with on the road as its rivals. It did finish ahead of the Kawasaki ZX-10R, Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade and Suzuki GSX-R1000, though.
The Panigale is also one of the best-looking motorbikes ever made, which counts for something, and it will undoubtedly hold its value better than the competition.
The 1299 has a taller screen, comfy seat and grippier pegs – proof that Ducati hasn’t ignored the road rider. The electronics package is hugely sophisticated. It features EBD, (Engine Brake Control), DQS (Ducati Quick-Shift), DWC (Ducati Wheelie Control), DTC (Ducati Traction Control) with IMU (Internal Measurement Unit) and cornering ABS.
Of course, people also often modify their bikes. You'll see second hand Panigales for sale with exhausts, suspension upgrades, crash protection and of course myriad tyre options.
|Engine type||8v, V-twin|
|Frame type||Monocoque aluminium|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||Marzocchi 50mm pressurised and fully-adjustable USD forks with hard anodised aluminium lightweight sliders|
|Rear suspension||Fully-adjustable Sachs unit|
|Front brake||2 x 330mm floating discs with radially-mounted Brembo monobloc 4-piston calipers with cornering ABS as standard|
|Rear brake||245mm disc with 2-piston caliper and cornering ABS as standard|
|Front tyre size||120/70-17|
|Rear tyre size||200/55-17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||35 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£370|
|Used price||£12,500 - £30,000|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||196 bhp|
|Max torque||106.7 ft-lb|
|Top speed||178 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||10.41 secs|
|Tank range||120 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2015: Replaced the 1199 Panigale as Ducati's flagship superbike.
- 2017: 1299 Panigale off sale, replaced by 1299 Panigale R Final Edition.
Higher-spec Ducati 1299 Panigale S version is available at £20,795. It features lighter forged wheels plus upgraded electronics and suspension. Ducati Panigale 1299 S Aniversario limited edition launched in 2016, just 500 numbered units, and rammed with electronics that allow the rider to get the rear wheel properly out of line on the power.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI 1299 PANIGALE (2015 - 2017)
14 owners have reviewed their DUCATI 1299 PANIGALE (2015 - 2017) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£370|
At some bike to ride . Always a brings a big smile Just parked up and even bigger after a ride . Power as you need it , Brembo brakes second to none . Still a cut above the rest . . Handling Superb once tyres are warm . Maybe not as nimble as the mid range bikes but predictable. Bad bits . Not a pleasure with the heat generated in the Sumer . Tyres need to get some heat into them before ridding it hard . But with the rider aids still safe . Running Pirelli c1 road tyres . Awesome grip .
Brembo , just Awsome
Just delivers all through the bands
Never had a single running problem yet Had to replace fork seals after 5 k but doesn’t do them any good stood still over the winter
Not cheap to service , get a firm quote first . But They do a good job . Use Ducati Worcs . Excellent service
Buying experience: Private seller , bike not used just polished lol
Annual servicing cost: £250
Most comfortable superbike ever - easy to ride and flatters the ride with its capabilities and performance - hard to fault
Buying experience: Dealer - was new at £20,800 and I paid £20K total
Annual servicing cost: £400
Absolutely amazing handling and performance, comfort not the best, but you can't have everything, the lolita is beautiful.
On the firm side, handling fantastic just ride is firm , but its a proper sports bike so more than happy.
Rocket ship, with beautiful mid range power.
Honestly I believe its better than my previous BMW S1000RR. Detail on the bike is superb.
This is its downfall more expensive than the BM and service department, not as polished as BMW , with there car experience of customers it shows a marked difference.
Never a sports touring bike, but love all the electronic aids.
Buying experience: Brought from a Ducati dealer who were very accommodating. On yer bike would highly recommend this dealer.
Annual servicing cost: £400
It is unbelievably fast, and the handling is sublime. It is the best looking Ducati they have ever sold. In 8,000 miles it has not missed a beat, despite some hard use and some very wet rides. No leaks, no odd chain wear. Not a single missed gear. Definitely recommended - but not mine as it is not for sale!
Standard is very stiff, but a few tweaks on the electronics and it felt much better. The brakes are simply awesome. I rode it to Italy and back with no problems. Pillion is hopeless.
What a motor. So much power and torque. And it sounds incredible, especially when revved hard.
It has been utterly faultless for the whole time I have owned it (4 years). It had a small mark on the display which turned into a tiny crack, all changed free of charge by Ducati. It has a quality feel to everything and fits together beautifully.
Servicing is not cheap - but there again, it has lost pretty much zero in value in 4 years.
It has everything apart from heated grips. The tail tidy is a useful addition. The Pirellis suit the bike but last about 1,400 miles.
This has got to be the worst bike I have ever owned.Like others have posted, issues with the swingarm where the chain rubs that ducati don't want to know about.Clutch Slave cylinder is useless and underpowered so continually needs bleeding and fluid replacing. Oberon aftermarket sorts this but again ducati aren't interested in acknowledging the fault.
Brakes fantastic ride quality great when it works but sadly that is never. Not a quality ride when you are constantly having clutch issues and false neutrals etc plus leaking fluids.
IMO Dangerous faults like... Chain catching the swingarm. Recalls for oil being pulled through the air box and spat on rear wheel. Relay not switching off and setting on fire, happened to a Ducati mechanic friend of mine who advised me they have had loads of issues with this.Constantly getting false neutrals going down the box on auto blipper causing bike to nearly crash. Upshifting on quickshifter when fully opened throttle either jumps out of gear or doesn't engage and fires you into the petrol tank.
Spent £1600 on mine in less than 9 months and still issues persist. Ducati charge £75 per hour labour plus haven't resolved any issues.Ducati servings is poor at best, previously pointed out showed things i wanted fixing and they have not been done despite charging a fortune to "look at"
Undersized clutch cylinders leak and dont work after so many rides so constantly need bleeding or uprating.
The engine is amazing so much character, had a S1000RR, but this stirs the soul.
This is my fourth Superbike, seventh bike in total almost 30 years on two wheels. The perfect midlife crises machine this 1299S PANIGALE is truly something of an experience, any motorcycle enthusiast with average skill can get the feeling of being #VR46 after minimal ride time. Data crunching, reading manuals and time to become familiar with endless adjustments are a minor setback in time off the road... THE ONLY COMPLAINT BUT A MUST WITH THIS BIKE! It’s technology is clearly German because you feel it works and now with AUDI becoming Ducati’s Step Parents reliability and safety are it’s strong points.
In my best Italian accent, “ THATS A SPICY MEAT BALL!!!!!!!!”. The L-twin @1287cc is now truly a collectors item that will go up in value. Do you see many for sale? NOPE!
Perfect Italian designers. Perfect German engineers. The best these companies have to offer, SPECIFIC FOR THIS BIKE; OHLINS. BREMBO. PIRELLI.
You get what you pay for.
AKRAPOVIC TITANIUM exhaust (except price) will have you rigid. This is a must fitment cutting 1.5kg and bumping Torque&HP into the stratosphere with you along with it. The sound alone is worth the 6.5k price tag.
Buying experience: Dealer.1200kms. AUD28K
Annual servicing cost: £500
The bike is great when it works. Great on the road and good on track. Difficult to change fairings and day to day life is interesting, but that's what you expect from a Ducati. Simply not worth the pain or the money. I will never buy a Ducati again.
Middle corner brilliance. Like hitting a wall on the brakes.
I bought the 1299 new and it was great for two years. The gear indicator was the only thing that played up but nothing outrageous. 2 years and 3 months later the gear indicator failed, meaning the quick shifter no longer worked. Took it to the dealer who told me I required a new harness and wiring loom. First cost was approx. 3k! The warranty was good for 2 yrs so I was left with the bill and still with over 6 months of finance.
Not sure of the annual cost but much more than my R1.
Excellent, when it works!
Buying experience: Awful!
Expensive bikes lots of issues and poor service from Ducati who don't seem interested in any issues.
Awesome brakes and ride quality but the Ducati is let down by design flaws, potentially dangerous flaws and crap ducati after service. I personally can't trust the bike given I know the chain rubs and people have had snapped chains. How can you trust a bike when in the back of your mind you know the chain could snap causing a ctash etc.
Chain badly rubs the swingarm so much so it hacks chunks out of the swingarm and puts metal filings in the cases, sprocket and chain. Ducati won't even acknowledge as an issue despite numerous forum posts complaining about the issue. Poor of Ducati esp given they do know this issue hence why the newer models have this part of the swingarm machined out. An ex Ducati main dealer mechanic also told me he got rid of his 1299 due to all the issues he had with his. In and out constantly for various electrical gremlins etc. It even set on fire whilst parked at the ducati main dealers where he worked due to electrics shorting out.
Running costs tend to get a bit high when Ducati aren't interested in issues meaning you have to pay in full to get things sorted. Like paying to take off the swingarm, paying to take to a specialist cnc machine shop then faff around putting it back together.
Really good equipment but unfortunately let down by other issues and poor customer service from Ducati.
Buying experience: Ducati after sales is simply shocking.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Unbelievable...the power and speed are simply breathtaking. The electronic suspension and rider aids are excellent. Plus it has to be the most beautiful bike ever made. It is surprisingly comfortable and can do long trips. However, I have taken the rear foot rests off permanently as it is horrendous for a pillion, but I've got my Sprint GT for taking 'er indoors.
Brakes are eye-popping. I have softened the dynamic suspension, and stiffened up the steering damper a touch, which gives the ride i really like. Plenty of feedback, and goes exactly where I want. It feels lithe and light, and can get a little frisky on bumpy roads, but that is part of the fun! It has lots of power and weighs the same as a tea bag, after all...
You have to experience the acceleration to believe it.. And what a noise, especially with the Akropovic cans. Love it. It is not particularly comfortable trying to do 20 mph through town, but is much better than my old 1199. The Anniversario upgrade gives perfect fuelling. The gearbox is light and positive and the quick shifter works well going up or down the 'box. Warming up the engine completely before riding off avoids burning any oil at all.
Not had a single problem at all, despite a few very wet rides and lots of complex electronics. The attention to detail is impressive, and it all fits together like a swiss watch.
I have only seen a few real Anniversarios for sale (watch out for painted up 1299S bikes). All of them sold for a lot more than I paid (new) for mine. Can't argue with that! It has to have super unleaded and gets through it at a prodigious rate when you are getting a wiggle on.
I can't think of anything it hasn't got! Tyre choice is non-existent, but the Pirellis work very well and suit the bike.
Buying experience: I had to ride 200 miles in the freezing cold in December to get it home, but there again, at least I found one.
High price, high quality, high performance. The best in the track.
Light and small.
205hp and 145nm are not enough?
R1m, rav4 rf, s1000rr, zx10r, gsxr1000r, cbr1000rr sp are amazing bikes but the 1299s has a better quality build.
High price for high quality.
Ready to race.
Every Day is a special day when you get her out of the garage, neighbours love it, as it sets off car alarms going out of street. Have had engineers look at her admiringly, spotting pieces of manufacturing that are "art" to them, it has that effect.
Beautiful, syrupy power delivery, race mode manic
Have a Ducati battery monitor on her, plug in once a week for a day, and no problems. Had the Ducati flat battery to thank for this.
Not reached first service yet, know my dealer will look after me though, great being part of a family.
Everything you would ever need
Buying experience: Through Ducati main dealer - could not be more complimentary to the experience, top staff.
Excellent bike, you will never regret buying it, art form at its ultimate, the looks are fantastic, the sound is superb, the acceleration is exhilarating
Solid as a rock on the straight and the corner, no fear of stopping on a dime in seconds.
One of the most powerful production bikes around.
Extremely reliable with Excellent build quality, where Art meets Function at its very best.
Technology at its leading edge.
Annual servicing cost: £350
Astounding, torque and power delivery and even comfortable, never mind the sound of the Akropovics
Long distances no problem, with comfort seat option. Slow riding can place a little pressure on wrists. But slight weight transfer to feet alleviates this. Brakes faultless, ABS barely noticeable and no fade under hard riding and braking. Electronic dynamic and static (manual) set up options extensive and easy to use, though link to mobile device would be useful and could be even simpler
Power and torque delivery superb, smooth and variable with engine braking options making a distinct difference along with a slipper clutch you never notice, this really is the bike the 1199 should have been
No problems so far and if 899 was anything to go by over 7000 miles I don't expect any. Quality of finish looks very good. Design and styling, nothing else comes close.
Seem reasonable so far with greater service intervals than many new sports bikes
Comprehensive, love the up and down quickshift and the ability to change a selected setting , traction control, ABS, engine braking and wheelie control, whilst in Race mode. Would be good if you could change quickly between multiple set up options
Buying experience: Bought from Snells of Alton, excellent service everytime.